Friday, 23 May 2014

Postage stamp business to be privatised: Finance Ministry

The nation’s postage stamps, which earn Ks 5 billion (US$5 million) revenue per year and is distributed for eight years of general consumption, will be privatised soon, according to the Finance Ministry.

After receiving the official approval of the Attorney-General’s Office, the postage stamp business will be transferred to private enterprises, according to Min Htut, Director General of the Internal Revenue Department (IRD).

“At present, the cost of stamped documents is higher than the current price at private-owned general shops. There is only one revenue office per township and this can be accessed just within the office hour, and so, people who live far from the office inevitably buy stamped documents from nearby stores. That is why we have planned to transfer the stamp business to private hands,” Min Htut continued.

The usage of postage stamps in Myanmar dates back to 1899, and the laws concerning stamps was enacted in 1992. In 2012, the ruling government raised the stamp price, but following disapprovals by the Lower House, the IRD dropped the price.

“The production cost per stamp is Ks 35 (US$0.035). That is why we raised the price to 100 times of the original fee, from a one kyat worth stamp to a hundred kyat (US$0.001 to US$0.1). But because of the disapprovals by the Lower House, we had to drop the price to 60 per cent of that value,” said Min Htut.

In estate business – the main source of revenue earned by stamp – the IRD collects three per cent of the total five per cent tax, and shares the other two per cent with state and regional governments.

source: Eleven Myanmar
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